- "It matters not if the foe faces us on the ground or strikes from the skies. With such craft as these, none shall escape our wrath."
The Stormtalon gunship is an aerial interceptor and ground-attack aircraft that serves in the armies of the Adeptus Astartes. The Stormtalon possesses Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) capabilities which allows it to hover in place while unleashing its potent barrage as well as engaging in more conventional dogfights like a supersonic interceptor. The Stormtalon is swift enough to engage nearly all but the fastest of enemy aircraft whilst simultaneously being well-armed enough to reduce the chosen foe to a mangle of twisted wreckage and ruined flesh.
The arrival of a single Stormtalon from the war-torn skies has reversed the tide of many desperate battles where the Space Marines on the ground faced certain defeat. The Stormtalon can always be counted upon to deliver a hail of ferocious firepower. Whether its weapons are pointed at enemy ground positions or incoming aerial opponents, it is more than capable of obliterating the threat. The Stormtalon gunship usually operates in a squadron of three, known as a Skyhammer Squadron.
Though smaller than the Stormraven, the Stormtalon gunship is incredibly fast and agile, and makes a superb air-interceptor and ground-attack craft. With the press of a trigger rune, the Stormtalon's Techmarine pilot purges his victims from existence amid a whistling hail of missiles, bolts and las blasts. All the while, the Stormtalon jinks and weaves through blossoming clouds of flak with incredible speed, enemy fire slicing around it to no avail. The Codex Astartes dictates that this small, agile craft is best used as an escort for its larger counterpart, the Stormraven, or to provide covering fire for advancing Space Marine ground forces. However, many Chapters, most notably the White Scars, Solar Hawks and Raven Guard, also employ the Stormtalon as a dogfighter and vanguard strike craft to great effect, whether duelling the aircraft of xenos forces or the winged Daemon Engines of the Traitor Legions.
Stormtalons are often assigned as escorts to other mission-critical units, and this is where the craft truly excels and it is nearly unmatched in this role. At one moment the aircraft can be flying across the battlefield at death-defying speeds; at the next, its pilot can switch over to its VTOL systems and trade its extreme speed for enhanced agility, all the while strafing enemy positions with powerful barrages of shells and missiles.
At the Battle of Cold Steel Ridge, entire squadrons of Ultramarines Stormtalon pilots pushed their craft to the limit. With afterburners propelling their aircraft to bone-jarring speeds, the Stormtalons intercepted monstrous Harpies and flocks of Gargoyles, whose winged bodies were darkening the skies. No sooner had the Stormtalons regained air superiority than the pilots were vectoring their engines, hovering above their Battle-Brothers on the ground and helping to hold back the advancing swarms of charging Tyranids. By using pinpoint strafing tactics and overlapping firepower matrices they cut down hundreds of Gaunts, staining the Macraggian snows purple with rivers of stinking xenos ichor.
There are several Space Marine Chapters, such as the White Scars, Hawk Lords, and the Raven Guard, that believe that close-support and interdiction duties do not fully exert the Stormtalon's potential. In these Chapters, and countless others, they excel at using the Stormtalon as a vanguard strike-craft, where the Stormtalons keep pace with and escort their Assault Marines and Land Speeder squadrons. When the Stormtalon is used in this way, as the principal attack vehicle of an Astartes strike force, the rest of the rapid moving units act as escorts for the aircraft, clearing the attack corridor of enemy anti-air fire as the Stormtalon roars in to obliterate its targets with devastating effect.
The Stormtalon gunship is heavily armed for an aircraft of its size. The vehicle's standard armament is that of a nose turret-mounted set of twin-linked Assault Cannons, and a set of twin-linked Heavy Bolters, one located on each side of the aircraft's hull. The Stormtalon is able to have its Heavy Bolters replaced with a set of twin-linked Lascannons, a Skyhammer Missile Launcher system, or a set of twin-linked Typhoon Missile Launchers. All Stormtalons are outfitted with armoured ceramite plating for added defence from enemy fire. Imperial records do not indicate whether or not Stormtalons are used by Grey Knights Chapter or if any other Chapters that use weaponry and vehicle patterns unique to them, such as the Blood Angels or the Dark Angels, also keep Stormtalons in their armouries. It is unrecorded in Imperial records if the Stormtalon is capable of being outfitted with any other upgrades or enhancements.
- 1 Stormtalon Gunship
A standard Stormtalon Gunship is armed and equipped with:
A Stormtalon Gunship armed with a Typhoon Missile Launcher may be equipped with the following loadout:
The following is a list of all known formations that make use of the Stormtalon Gunship:
- Storm Wing - A recent development in Space Marine tactics involves the use of Storm Wing Squadrons. Comprised of a Stormraven Gunship and two Stormtalon escorts, these squadrons have proven exceptional in countless shock assaults. The superb manoeuvrability of the Stormraven twinned with its capacious transport bay is a potent combination –- so potent, in fact, that it is considered too valuable an asset to be used lightly. Despite the variety of heavy armaments it boasts, the most deadly of the Storm Wing Squadron's weapons is the cargo it carries. Within the cabled belly of the Stormraven is a squad of elite Battle-Brothers waiting for their chance to charge forth to mete out vengeance to the enemies of the Imperium. Because of the front-heavy design of the Stormtalon and the assault ramps that serve as its jaws, as soon as the aircraft settles upon its landing gear and its prow yawns wide, the unit inside can hurl themselves straight into combat, potentially changing the tide of battle within a few seconds of their arrival. So effective is the sudden onslaught of a Storm Wing Squadron that Traitors, Heretics and xenos warriors alike have learnt to fear them, cowering at the triple silhouette and roaring afterburners of their approach.
- Strike Wing - The definition of skyborne versatility, an Adeptus Astartes Strike Wing is notable for its ability to both annihilate enemies as a massed Attack Pattern, pouring incredible firepower into high-value targets as a single entity, and to split into several constituents to deal with discrete threats as the situation requires. When fighting as one, the Strike Wing's intimidating attack runs can take out entire columns of armour, smashing them apart and leaving nothing but billowing flame and ash. This formation is made up of two Stormhawk Interceptors and two Stormtalon gunships.
Notable Stormtalon Gunships
- Wrath of Aquila - The Wrath of Aquila was a Stormtalon Gunship of the Doom Eagles Chapter that was piloted by Sergeant Kerikus. Kerikus piloted his Stormtalon in the skies above Quadcana Prime against the Dakkajets of the Orks.
- Guilliman's Arrow - Guilliman's Arrow is a Stormtalon Gunship of the Ultramarines Chapter.
Adeptus Mechanicus Technical Specifications
The Adeptus Mechanicus has not yet made the technical specifications of the Stormtalon publicly available in Imperial records.
- Codex Adeptus Astartes - Space Marines (8th Edition), pp. 92, 185
- Codex Adeptus Astartes - Space Marines (7th Edition) (Digital Edition), "Gunships", "Stormtalon Gunship", "Storm Wing"
- Codex: Space Marines (6th Edition), pp. 95, 173
- Codex Adeptus Astartes - Grey Knights (8th Edition), pp. 49, 91
- Death From the Skies (6th Edition), pp. 57, 68
- Doom Flight (Short Story) by Cavan Scott
- Warhammer 40,000: Apocalypse (6th Edition) (Digital Edition), pg. 110
- Warhammer: Visions 16, pg. 156
- The Plagues of Orath (Anthology) by Cavan Scott, Steve Lyons and Graeme Lyon (Images)
- Gunship, Games-Workshop Stormtalon Gunship, Games-Workshop